Four hydropower projects awarded $8mn in funds

The Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $8 million to four hydroelectric projects in Connecticut, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont under the Rural Energy for America Program.

The largest amount for a hydropower project, a $7.2 million loan, went to EBD Hydro LLC, which is developing the 5 MW, 45-mile hydroelectric project on a concrete drop structure of the North Unit Irrigation District's main irrigation canal in Jefferson County, Ore. EBD also received a $7.2 million loan from the Oregon Energy Department’s State Energy Loan Program for the estimated $15 million project.

The project includes a proposed intake structure, 2,700-foot-long, 96-inch-diameter penstock, and powerhouse with one turbine-generator.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued EBD a conduit exemption from licensing for 45-mile in 2010.

BMB Enterprises Inc. was awarded a $500,000 grant to help complete the 650 kV Six-Mile Creek hydroelectric plant in Utah. The grant is expected to be used to build transmission lines from the project in Sanpete County to Manti, Utah.

FERC issued an order to BMB in October granting an extension of time to October 2013 to complete Six-Mile Creek. Although BMB received a license for the project in 1987, it has been delayed for various reasons including interconnection agreements, property acquisition problems, permitting, and rights of way.

The Six-Mile project includes a diversion structure, powerhouse containing four turbine-generators, and transmission lines.

Putnam Green Power LLC received a $275,000 grant for its proposed 875 kW Cargill Falls project on Quinebaug River in Putnam, Conn.

Cargill Falls includes two existing concrete gravity dams, a 1.5-acre upper reservoir, and two powerhouses containing refurbished 530 kW and 345 kW turbine-generators. The federal grant is to finance refurbishment of the two turbines.

Agriculture awarded a $49,325 grant to Green Mountain Environmental Consulting Inc. for the 65 kW Candelora hydroelectric project on Roaring Branch Brook in Bennington, Vt.

Green Mountain has filed an initial consultation document indicating it plans to seek a FERC exemption from licensing for Candelora, which would use existing Bennington Water Supply facilities including a concrete dam and a 4,400-foot penstock to a new powerhouse containing a turbine-generator.

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